The Cowboys - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cowboys Reviews

Page 1 of 26
½ May 24, 2017
Decent enough movie for John Wayne, I suppose. It felt racist at times though, but then maybe it wasn't? So that was weird... But overall it was alight. Pretty sure John Wayne is not my thing though.
April 3, 2017
What a terrible movie. Pick up a John Wayne flick thinking you got something for the kids and grandpa. people had the nerve to complain about The Patriot!
December 11, 2016
161211: A great story and one of my favourite John Wayne films. Features some strong western actors in Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern, Colleen Dewhurst and a young A. Martinez.
½ September 17, 2016
An odd one with children being cowboys.
May 31, 2016
It's a John Wayne movie... take that as you will.
½ May 22, 2016
Great story of a man learning to ease up, boys learning to be men, learning teamwork and an all around great story.
January 19, 2016
Lesser-known John Wayne gem.

Set in the 1870s, a veteran rancher, Wil Anderson (played by John Wayne), needs to drive his large herd of cattle to market, over 600 kms away. However, his hired hands have deserted him for the goldfields. As a last resort he hires a group of boys from the local school as his drivers..."cowboys" in the truest sense of the word. What follows is a journey of discovery and a transformation of boys to men...

Not your typical John Wayne movie. Wayne is less of the hero here, and more a paternal figure. After all, he was 65 years old when this movie was made, so his days of acting the invincible hero were behind him. However, for all the one-dimensional casting of him as a hero, here he shows a more balanced aspect to his acting.

Interesting plot, with a dramatic, un-John Wayne-like twist near the end. Plot development, and some scenes, can be clumsy at times though.

As mentioned, good performance from John Wayne. Good work from Bruce Dern, as the villain, plus all of the supporting cast, including the boys.
January 7, 2016
That Bruce Dern can play a real son of a bitch.
½ October 9, 2015
We're going to finish the job.

Will Anderson needs to make a cattle run but all of the men have left town due to a gold rush. He is talked into hiring a bunch of boys ranging from 13-15 years old...maybe even some younger. He trains the boys and takes them across the west until they are approached by cattle thieves. The boys will quickly need to become men if they hope to protect the heard.

"I hope I ain't rode all the rough off of her."

Mark Rydell, director of On Golden Pond, The Rose, For the Boys, The River, The Fox, Even Money, and Intersection, delivers The Cowboys. The storyline for this picture is very well written and executed and contains the perfect blend of interesting characters, grit, and conflict. The acting is first rate and the cast includes John Wayne, Bruce Dern, Robert Carradine, Colleen Dewhurst, Roscoe Lee Browne, and Normal Howell.

"He got drunk on Sunday and married on Monday."

I came across this on cable and had to DVR it. This was way better than I anticipated. Usually when genres that do not normally have kids add them to the movie the movie turns out cheesy, this turns out very good (primarily because they tried to make it realistic and even have the kids killed in a few scenes). Overall, this is an entertaining and better than anticipated film.

"You black all over?"
"Except for the whites of my eyes."

Grade: B+/A-
August 31, 2015
one of the best Wayne films. And it has the one and only time this happened to him in a film.
½ June 6, 2015
Throwback style John Wayne western that came out at the height of the 70s revisionist western movement. I can imagine how corny this film felt at the time standing alongside darker or offbeat westerns like "The Wild Bunch" or "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" or even the spaghetti westerns coming out of Italy. This film has The Duke taking on a crew of children on a cattle drive and running afoul Bruce Dern and his crew of nasty villains. Wayne dishes out life lessons to the boys on how to life an honest, hard working life and most of all how to be a man. The film is corny and slow moving, but director Mark Rydell gives the film has an elegant and picturesque quality, which is greatly aded by a fine John Williams score. There's a strong cast as well, which includes Roscoe Lee Browne, Colleen Dewhurst, Robert Carradine, Slim Pickens, Matt Clark and Richard Farnsworth. I think this film probably plays better now than it did alongside the revisionist films that came out alongside it, but this one is still not exactly a classic Duke film.
May 31, 2015
descent late career western from Wayne even though itrs kinda like his superior 'red river'
½ May 26, 2015
A compelling story ultimately about growing up in the West, The Cowboys is more emotionally involved than most Westerns, and showcases one of John Wayne's best performances.
April 25, 2015
I have to agree with THE DUKE himself on this one: by FAR the best movie he ever did.
April 5, 2015
I love this movie! We're Burning Daylight. john Wayne's the best cowboy there ever was
March 5, 2015
One of John Wayne's best, a man who has children becomes a father to those who need him most.
January 19, 2015
One of John Waynes best westerns!
January 18, 2015
First John Wayne movie I saw on the "big screen" - and it continues to be 1 of my favorites.
January 18, 2015
The more I see of John Wayne, the more I like him.
November 8, 2014
One of my favorite John Wayne movies
Page 1 of 26